This weekend some very good friends came to visit Boston. Ali and Dan, like me, made the big JUMP across the pond seven months ago; moving from our north London neighborhood to the USA. Both are rather good writers and have kept wonderful online journals of their antics in Philadelphia (visit Ali’s blog here and Dan’s blog here). Needless to say, the three of us have a lot in common and I was really looking forward to showing off my new stateside city.
We spent most of the weekend outside on bikes or at the beach. Here is a selection of things we did:
Watch street performers of Quincy Market entertain the Friday night crowds.
Grab a cool beer at the Sail Loft on Atlantic Avenue whilst watching the boats moor on the wharf.
Rent bikes from UrbanAdventours (prices start at $35 per 24hrs). We cycled four routes stopping off where something fun took our fancy:
1. Aquarium- along the Charles River Reservation- MIT… … Stopping at Massachusetts Avenue Bridge to take in the view of the Boston skyline.
2. MIT – along Massachusetts Avenue- Harvard Square… …Stopping at Harvard Yard for ice cream while basking in the sun of the historic university grounds.
3. Harvard Square – along the Emerald Necklace bike path (Back Bay Fens section) – Longwood Medical Area… … Stopping at the rose garden (see earlier post) and Harvard Medical School.
4. Longwood Medical Area – along the Emerald Necklace bike path (Brookline section) – Jamaica Pond… … Stopping at the boat house by Jamaica Pond to watch the swans on the water.
Wander around the Italian Quarter in the North End and dine at Nico’s where violent gangster movies are screened during dinner!
But I wasn’t there to revisit history or douse my scrambled eggs in Worcestershire Sauce. I was there to visit my family. Nothing beats going home. Seeing family and being completely spoiled.
My family home is located in a small village just outside of the city of Worcester. An old cottage surrounded by fields and woodland. It was great being in the middle of nowhere. Typical of British weather, April had been a wet month and it was still raining. Nevertheless, the garden was springing into action – the clematis flowers looked beautiful along the side of the house. We went walking in the woods to catch the end of the Bluebell season (see photo at the top of the post – note, photo is courtesy of Julie Hunt here).
Mum made my favourite dinner – Roast Chicken and all the trimmings, with homegrown rhubarb in a crumble covered in thick custard. Yum. Dad made sure there was always tea in the pot and a continuous supply of digestive biscuits for dunking! Perfect.
A chance to re-energize with the motherland and absorb all things British. This year, 2012, is a double-celebratory year for the Brits – the year of the Olympics and Queenie’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne). Apparently also the year for stringing up bunting and bearing the Union Jack in any place possible.
“Re-energizing in all things British” is simply code for eating a lot of mini-cheddars, Cadbury Twirls and drinking dry cider guilt-free. It also was an excuse to hassle as many circles of friends as possible during the short time I was there.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the wedding of a very, VERY good friend and partner in crime; Kate. She was marrying her childhood sweetheart Tom. The ceremony was located close to the banks of the River Thames by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. During the ceremony we could see the London skyline with views of St Paul’s cathedral and Millennium Bridge. Perfect for a nostalgic ex-pat.
To be continued….
[* last photo is a cheat – I was so excited to see Kate and Tom get married that I forgot to take any photos; this photo was used courtesy of http://deepakg.blogspot.com]